More than 500 youth from Korea and 19 countries around the world gathered in Goyang, republic of Korea to state their firm commitment to the peace agenda and youth involvement.
The conference, focused on peace as the theme for 2017 International Youth Day through the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. It was hosted by Youth Now and UN-Habitat supported by the Seoul Housing, Happiness Foundation, Korea Tourism Organization, Goyang City, KINTEX, Kyuongki CVB.
The highlights of the discussions were on the youth commitment to peace, especially in the context of the ongoing tension between North Korea and the world. Examples of Somalia and Kenya which is currently experiencing some level of instability were echoed.
“We call leaders globally to immediately begin a dialogue for peace in the Korean Peninsula. And youth who participated in the Youth week agreed unanimously to take appropriate action towards sustainable peace for the world.
‘We are here to find the connection between the SDGs which is the UN template for sustainable growth and peace’ Kim Juyong, Executive Director of Youth Now, “We cannot continue to go down this insane path of destruction; all the youth gathered here from all cities across South Korea and around the world must make a declaration of working towards sustainable peace. We expect that our leaders should lead from the front”
Mayor Choi Song of Goyang City told the gathered youth “You are the hope for peace for the Korean peninsula and around the world … Goyang City will take the initiative in promoting international movements for peaceful unification in cooperation with peace leaders worldwide.” The Mayor also declared the week April 13 – 15 International Peace week in Goyan City.
Linus Sijenyi of UN Habitat representing Mr Douglas Ragan said ‘The world is experiencing numerous challenges today. Lack of employment, the rise of terror groups, climatic changes which cause massive destruction of life and properties, all these have contributed to massive instabilities across the globe. Deliberate and concrete efforts has to be put in place to ensure the youth have gainful employment, deliberate policies put in place to secure the place of the youth in the society, police and other law enforcers to work together with the youth to ensure peace and to avoid this assumptions that the youth are the problems but actually the solutions.
Other speakers who echoed similar sentiments include Changheum, Byun CEO, Seoul Housing And Communities Corporation, Teayoon KIm, representing the youth, Youngseo Min, chair of advisory committee, Doyoung Kim CSR team leader, SK broadband, Donyun Kim, Professor, Sungkyunkwan University, Mr. Yossi (Offer, CofoundDevelopment Jerusalem, Mr. Nguyen Quang, Programme Manager, UN-Habitat Vietnam Office. As a way of providing opportunities to the youth as the ambassadors of peace, youth delegates promised to mobilize resources to initiate an e-sport center in Kibera and Mathare Kenya.
This will provide employment as well as act as exchange programme centers for the Korean students.